Friday, April 26, 2013

License Plate Lesson

License Plate Lesson

A friend of mine sent me this lesson. It's really easy and cute. It probably is most effective  with military and new students or even at the beginning of the school year. Click the link below for the template and directions.

License Plate Templates

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Explaining Death to Children

One of the counselors in my district, Janice, asked if I could purchase this book for all of the schools, for she has had a year of many losses in the lives of the children at her school and this book came in very handy. I immediately said "yes" and proceeded to "google" it, only to find an audio version on youtube.

It was truly extraordinary to find this. Hope it helps!

Lifetimes: The beautiful way to explain death to children
By Bryan Mellonie and Rober Ingpen

You Tube Video

OOOhhhhh....Web Based noteCounselor!!!!

Update to original post...noteCounselor gotta check it out! I love this product and now that it is web based, I am loving it even more!


Web Based Note Counselor

Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

If you have not seen the Framework for Safe and Successful Schools then here is your chance to take a look at it. The following organizations came together to create a document for improving school safety and increasing access to mental health supports for children and youth:

American School Counselor Association (ASCA): National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP):
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP):
National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO):
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP): School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA):

Specifically, effective school safety efforts, such as:
  • Begin with proactive principal leadership.
  • Allow school leaders to deploy human and financial resources in a manner that best meets the needs of their school and community. 
  •  Provide a team-based framework to facilitate effective coordination of services and interventions.
  • Balance the needs for physical and psychological safety.
  • Employ the necessary and appropriately trained school-employed mental health and safety personnel.
  • Provide relevant and ongoing professional development for all staff.
  • Integrate a continuum of mental health supports within a multitiered system of supports.
  • Engage families and community providers as meaningful partners.
  • Remain grounded in the mission and purpose of schools: teaching and learning.

Enjoy for this is a great collaborative effort!

Framework Document

Friday, April 12, 2013

STEM for School Counselors

STEM is in the forefront of K-12 education and school counselors must get on board with the program. Luckily, it is easy to infuse STEM related careers into our career lessons. However there are other ways in which we can support the STEM initiative: promoting camps, participating in workshops and trainings or local industry business tours, etc. Below are some great links and articles to help you better understand how to introduce STEM to your comprehensive school counseling program.


Comprehensive School Counseling Programs and STEM

Counselors and STEM

STEM Websites for teachers and counselors

Sally Ride Science

Girl Start

School Counselors and STEM Article

Science and Math for Girls Tips

NASA Education Programs

STEM Reports

Thursday, April 11, 2013

With You All the Way: Dealing with Deployment!

Joe, one of our military connected school counselors introduced me to Cuzzie and the Comfort Crew. He ordered about a 100 them to give to children when their loved ones leave for deployment. I he gave me one! LOL! It is ABSOLUTELY cutest thing I have ever seen. 
You get a box with a built in handle. Inside the box is a white bear with patches. Aviation gear, dog tags, a journal, a Trevor Romain video, some cards and a caregiver booklet...and they are all FREE!
They also have kits on moving, loss and injury for those children in military families. These kits really help the children cope with the deployment of their parent.

FAFSA Completion Tool

If you are a high school counselor and you have not checked the FAFSA site to look at your school's information from the completion tool...what are you waiting for? This is a great way to see how many of your students actually applied and completed the free application for financial aid. This tool gives you a better perspective into how many students get accepted into college and how many are actually applying, especially your first generation or low SES students who really may need aid. If your numbers look low compared to the senior class or those who received acceptance letters than you know there is discrepancy that needs to be looked into right away. This is a great way to assist and advocate for college and career readiness for your students. 


FAFSA Completion Project

The Amazing Grade Calculator

Want your students to take some responsibility in figuring out their grades? What do they need to receive on the next two tests in order to pass? Well scratch your head no more! This handy-dandy on-line calculator will figure it out for them! Bless for this amazing tool. It's really neat.


Grade Calculator

Critical Thinking, Anyone?

If your school division is anything like mine, one of the foci is probably critical thinking. How do we develop critical thinkers? How do we get students to think more critically? How can we make guidance lessons more effective and relevant to support critical thinking? Or perhaps you are having Socratic seminars or philosophical chairs? Or maybe you are an AVID or IB counselor? Whichever it may be, the Critical Thinking Community has great resources for you. If you go to the "begin here" tab they break it down by school levels.


The Critical Thinking Community

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

School Counselors as Gatekeepers

I first brought this concept up to the school counselors in my division a few years ago and...crickets! They really didn't know what to say or how to respond. In our profession we are nice, helpful individuals. We don't want to tell a master's student, nonetheless a university, that they can't cut the bill! And none of them ever had. However, if you ever pursue a PhD in counseling, one of the big things they reiterate is the concept of gate keeping and not letting incompetent mental health counselors into the profession. As scary and as confrontational as it may is true!
Here is my slant. Being a school counselor is a privilege NOT a right. I am going to say it again. Being a school counselor is a privilege NOT a right. We work with children. We affect lives. We help develop futures. That is a lot of responsibility. Just because one fulfills the requirements of a degree program does not mean that one is going to be a good school counselor. It does not mean that one has to hire you.
I tell my counselors that if you see a the university. If it persists, send them back!! Do not complete the paperwork/evaluation without stating your concerns. School divisions do universities a favor by allowing interns to train within them. Sometimes all one needs is to repeat practicum/internship. I have heard of interns who have fallen asleep; ones who tell site supervisors that they don't want to work in a school, but their university placed them there; ones who are late; ones who leave early; some who have no clue; some who are afraid of children; some who argue with their site supervisors when they correct their techniques! I know of certain district coordinators who won't even allow students from certain universities to intern in their division because of the lack of competency of past interns. COME ON!!!! Give me a break! Why are we putting ourselves through this?
We all know good and poor school counselors. Just like we all know good and poor teachers. So there are good and poor school counseling interns. The good ones get raved about! The good ones fill sub positions for school counselors on medical/pregnancy leave. The good ones make in impression upon principals who will tell their other principal friends about them when they hear there is a vacancy! Who raves about the poor ones? No one. Who moans or makes faces about the poor ones when someone mentions their name? Who says "Oh, no! You don't want them." Or better yet, who reluctantly writes a generic letter of recommendation for the poor school counselor intern? We all have at one time or another! That is why you send them back or call the university.
Who saw Waiting for Superman? We need to stop letting the lemons in for if we do...they can never be passed around! You see, a few years ago I inherited a lemon! They were doing more harm than good. When I called the school where they completed their internship, I was told by the site supervisor that they "felt sorry" for the intern and passed them. What good did this do anyone? It made the guidance department chaotic, upset parents and students with misinformation that the counselor told them and my life miserable for the entire time they worked there. I spent a year documenting in order to "counsel" them out of our building and division.
This is YOUR profession. Own it! Advocate for it! PROTECT IT!!! Fortunately the thing about education is that we can control who comes into it and how they come into it. I am almost at the end of my rant, so ask yourself these questions.
Would you want your children assisted by some of the interns that you have supervised? Would you want this person to represent your profession? If your answers are no...then don't contribute to the lemon factory.
*I acknowledge that there are poor site supervisors too...but that is another post!